House Republicans are considering a lawsuit against President Obama to stop the implementation of the Iran Nuclear Deal and billions of our tax dollars to Tehran to provide sanction relief. The lawsuit could prevent the Administration from implementation of the nuclear deal until Congress has seen inspection reports from the International Atomic Energy Inspection (IAEI), currently classified by the IAEA as confidential. Also the lawsuit may stop western companies from investing in Iran if sanctions are not lifted. States can also run legislation to penalize businesses within their state to stop them from investing in Iran.
While much of the public’s attention has been focused on the Obama Administration’s nuclear “love fest” with President Hassan Rouhani, our President seems oblivious to notice the appalling rise in Iran of executions, imprisonment, torture, and other forms of persecution against a wide array of pro-democracy dissidents, religious and ethnic minorities, and women.
Nearly 700 people were executed during the first six months of this year, alone. Capital offenses have included a range of so-called “moral offenses” and pro-democracy activism.
Perhaps most saddening, women and the youth are especially vulnerable to government-sanctioned violence and oppression. Acid thrown on the face of women, arrests and executions of young people are acceptable tools in Iran for the enforcement of the government’s social, religious, and political strictures.
Freedom of religion is severely curtailed. American Christian pastor Saeed Abedini has been detained in Iran since the summer of 2012, and was recently sentenced to eight years in prison, on bogus charges. Other ethnic and religious minorities have also been subjected to brutal crackdown.
Since the 1980s, Rouhani has played a key role in government decisions to murder, imprison, or torture thousands of people. These include the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, based upon a fatwa from then-Supreme Leader Khomeini and the 1994 bombing of the Jewish Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, killing 85 people. Both of these events occurred while Rouhani served as a leading official within the Iranian security agencies believed to have organized, carried out, or authorized the operations. The pattern of violence has continued under his leadership as president, reflected abroad in his support for Houthis in Yemen and for Syrian atrocities against its own people in that war-torn country.
The atrocities Iran continues to commit against American and Iranian citizens leaves me to wonder why the Administration is at the negotiating table in the first place. The Iranian dictatorship must learn the painful lesson that America will not negotiate with terrorists and those who suppress humanity.